Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 27 February 2024 2.35 AM IST

Arikomban's area be turned into protected forest


RAJAKKAD: A total of 364.39 hectares of land in blocks seven and eight of Chinnakanal village will be converted into a protected forest. The government had recently issued a notification declaring the region as a reserve forest under the Kerala Forest Act, 1961. The High Range Circle Chief Forest Conservator has handed over a letter to the Idukki District Collector to complete the follow-up within three months. Arikomban was captured from this region and transferred to Tamil Nadu.

Devikulam Sub Collector is the Settlement Officer. The process should be completed by conducting a detailed inspection of the site and avoiding residential areas, roads and public water bodies. After this, the land will be declared a protected forest under Section 90.

As the area is not heavily populated, there may not be any major hurdle to complete the process. It will also include about 100 acres of land previously held by the revenue. Although it was later handed over to the Forest Department, it was given on lease for eucalypt cultivation to Hindustan Newsprint. As the lease period has expired, the process of converting the leased land into forest land needs to be completed.

In 2017, there was an attempt to encroach on Papathi Chola by installing a cross, but later the area was vacated by the revenue department.

Suryanelli hills under the Forest Department and area including the premises of Anayirangal Dam and 301 Colony shall be converted to protected forest.

If they try to establish that the place where people have been living for ages is a forest, it will be opposed. No matter which government implements the report made by the officials, if it harms the people, we will not go along with it

- MM Mani, MLA

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